Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Your Assignment

Assignment for In Cold Blood:

I. Style

A. Syntax: Capote is known for his elaborate sentence structure and use of parallelism. Pick a paragraph in which Capote’s syntax is especially impressive and write an analysis explaining why his sentence structure is effective.

B. Character Development

Capote carefully depicts the personalities of secondary characters, such as Al Dewey. Why do you think he does this and what do these detailed portraits add to the book? Which of the secondary characters do you find most memorable and why?

What techniques does Capote use to characterize the killers? Does he make you feel sympathetic toward Dick or Perry?

C. Tone

Is Capote an objective or subjective narrator? Use ample evidence from the book for support.

D. Setting

Describe Holcomb. In what ways is it an ordinary town? In what ways is it different? Why does the author spend so much time describing the town?

How does the description of the jail at the beginning of Part IV contribute to the development of the novel?

E. Plot / Structure

How does Capote build suspense despite the fact that readers know the ultimate outcome from the beginning of In Cold Blood?

What is the effect of the author’s use of montage (repeatedly switching back-and-forth between Holcomb and the approaching killers)?

Capote recounts the story in a certain order, beginning with the day of the murder, and proceeding to the discovery of the bodies, the investigation of the crime and capture of the criminals, and the trial and execution. At what point does Capote depict the murder scene? How does he work Perry’s and Dick’s backgrounds into the narrative? Think of alternative plot structures that Capote could have used, and analyze why you think Capote structures the events as he does.

II. Expository Topics

A. Genre

Capote is credited with originating the “nonfiction novel” with In Cold Blood. How is its creation significant? If you use other sources to answer this question, please cite them.

B. Read and respond to one of the articles on this website: http://www.ljworld.com/specials/incoldblood/

III. Argumentative Topics

A. Does Dick deserve the death penalty? Does Perry? Does anyone? You must use evidence from the book to support your answer; you may use outside resources as well, as long as you provide appropriate citations in MLA format.

B. Truman Capote said “timeliness” was important to writing great journalism. Forty years after In Cold Blood’s first publication, does the book still possess an element of “timeliness”?

C. Which is more important: nature or nurture? You must use evidence from the book to support your answer; you may use outside resources as well, as long as you provide appropriate citations in MLA format.

Your Due Date is Monday, April 12th by 3:30 p.m.


  1. A. Syntax
    Page 312 first paragraph

    In this paragraph, Capote describes fellow death row inmate Lowell Lee Andrews. The description he makes is spot on to how people saw Andrews. They saw a sweet smart boy on the outside, but there was an evil side existing on the inside. It is amazing how he can paint a picture in your mind of a person and in this case, he painted two. I also liked this paragraph because it had my last name in it. Andrews was from the town of Wolcott and was nicknamed "The Nicest Boy in Wolcott".

  2. B. Character Development

    Truman Capote takes the time to describe secondary characters to bring different points of view into the book. These views keep the book interesting because even though you might know what is going in, they might not. These characters are also people who the readers can relate to. The descriptions and backgrounds of these characters can help the readers connect with them on a deeper level.

    My favorite secondary character was Lowell Lee Andrews. Obviously I liked him because he lived in a town of Wolcott, but he also is a very interesting character. He is a little bit crazy up in his head, but normally he is just a smart kid. I think it is funny the way he aggravates Perry by correcting his English. He kinda reminds me of someone I know, cough cough Miss Bodine.

    Capote used interviewing to display Perry and Dick in a certain sympathetic light. This is especially true when Capote talks to the killers about their family backgrounds. In both cases, the killers' families had something to do with their unusual behavior. This is especially true with Perry. His childhood was terrible and if I had his childhood, I think I would have turned out a bit different. Unfortunately, the Clutters had to pay for his bad childhood and the beliefs he developed from it. It was ultimately his belief that everyone abandons him that caused him to kill the Clutters. This belief and both killers' families make you sort of feel that it is not all their faults that they decided to kill the Clutters. They were in a bad situation and you kind of feel bad for them even though they carried out such a terrible deed.

  3. D. Setting

    The setting of this novel is Holcomb, Kansas. It is a little town in the middle of nowhere. It's placement is very much like the Clutter house. Holcomb has only one restaurant and that is where everyone hangs out. It is also where everyone gossips. The townspeople of Holcomb no everything about each other because it is so small and talk about everybody there. There are also some differences about Holcomb though. Many of it's buildings are abandoned and it is a bit of a ghost town. Many of the people live outside the actual town and go to Garden City for most of its needs. It is a farm town and the economy is based on that. Everyone is a farmer and thats kinda how they live.

    The description of the jail was very important in the development of the novel. It went right along with how the town was. It was small and not used very much. It was taken care of well though and the sheriff's wife cooked the food. Her food was a lot better than what Perry and Dick had eaten while they were on the run. The jail was also where we saw Perry's softer side. The way he looked out the window at nature and the way he treated his pet squirrel really showed that he was not just a ruthless killer. That little jail brought out the best in Perry.

  4. I. Style
    A. Syntax
    Page 343, last paragraph

    The final paragraph of this novel leaves a lasting impression upon the reader. Mr. Dewey was leaving the graveyard in which the Clutter family was buried. He was also saying goodbye to Susan Kidwell, “…a pretty girl in a hurry, her smooth hair swinging, shining—just such a young woman as Nancy might have been.” Truman Capote’s parallel structure and syntax is expressed through notable imagery in this paragraph as he paints a picture of the final scene. All seems to be peaceful after the long years of putting the Clutter case to rest; Susan, Bobby Rupp, and Mr. Dewey have finally found peace within themselves. As Mr. Dewey started home, “…he walked toward the trees, and under them, leaving behind him the big sky, the whisper of wind voices in the wind-bent wheat.” Life has seemed to move on at this point, truly putting the case to rest.

  5. I. Style
    B. Character Development

    Depicting the personalities of secondary characters throughout his book, Capote was able to successfully create a “nonfiction novel.” Such a task would not have been effectively completed by a journalist; the storyline is saturated with details that add to the suspense of the novel. These detailed portraits add interesting information that a newspaper article would not contain. Since this story was known on a national basis, including details about secondary characters helped the story to draw in people who already knew the ending.

    I find Lowell Lee Andrews to be the most memorable secondary character because he horrifically murdered his family without regret or remorse, yet was extremely intelligent. It is so shocking that a person would be able to think about committing such an act against family members, let alone plan it out and follow through with it.

    Capote does not come out and directly characterize the killers as “bad guys.” Although in the beginning of the novel, I had my mind set on how much I was disgusted by Dick and Perry, as the story went on, I did feel sympathetic toward the two. I had conflicting feelings because of Capote’s unprejudiced writing; I wanted to hate the two characters for what they did, yet I felt a little sorry for them as the story unraveled.

  6. I. Style
    C. Tone

    Capote is an objective narrator because he tries to use journalistic techniques throughout his novel. He gives both sides of the story equal attention to detail; one side as seeing Dick and Perry as criminals that should be punished through the death penalty, and the other side as feeling remorse for Dick and Perry. Truman Capote wrote the facts he learned through interviews in an interesting manner, but did not lose his objective lens. He includes the gruesome details of the Clutter family’s murder, not leaving an aspect for imagination. When Perry began to murder Mr. Clutter, for example, Perry recalled that the sound was, “Like somebody drowning. Screaming under water.” Furthermore, the heartlessness of the characters, as shown by the two laughing after being sentenced with capital punishment, adds to the case against Dick and Perry. However, when one takes into account that the murders of the Clutter family were accidental, one feels some remorse for the two. Caught in the heat of anger, Perry slit Mr. Clutter’s throat, “I didn’t realize what I’d done till I heard the sound.” The other three Clutter family members in the house were murdered after so Perry and Dick would not be identified by any living witnesses.

  7. I. Style
    D. Setting

    Holcomb is a small, simple, mid-western town in which everyone knows each other. It is an utterly ordinary town of middle-class people who are very friendly. Neighbors care about one another and carry out their every day duties with vigor. However, this town was different than many others because it was secluded from the world before the Clutter family murders; it was a small place in America where Utopia almost seemed tangible. The author spends a lot of time describing Holcomb because it is important to the narrative of the story to establish a setting of a safe and friendly town. Due to the character of the town, the Clutter family murders are even more shocking then they would be if they occurred at another location. Such detail also adds imagery to the novel, making it more captivating.

    The description of the jail at the beginning of Part IV contributes to the development of the novel because it makes known that Perry was able to communicate with Josephine Meier, the assistant sheriff’s wife. I believe that such interaction with a pious woman helped Perry to eventually feel remorse for what he did, although he does not experience these feelings until he is on death row. Dick, however, never seems to feel the same degree of guilt that Perry did. Inside his jail cell in Garden City, Dick sweltered in anger and planned his violent escape. His resolution was to continue to blame others for what had happened to him.

  8. A. Syntax

    In the beginning of the third chapter, "Answers," Capote introduces us to Floyd Wells, a person that has been indirectly involved in the murders. On page 161 in the last paragraph we see how Wells unknowingly gave Dick all the information he needed to go into the Clutter house and commit the terrible murders. The way Capote depicts the way Wells unknowingly gave the information to Dick, makes us feel somewhat sorry for Wells because of his ignorance, but also angry at the fact that he did not take Dick serious. The way Capotes describes the way Wells was thinking almost makes it seem that it could have happened to any of us. That it DOES happen to us often. All of us can relate to Wells in the fact that our actions whether we know it or not could have some negative effects in the world around us. This is what makes Capote's writing to effective.

  9. B. Character Development: Part I

    There are many secondary characters that Capote uses in this novel. Although some of these characters may not seem very important to us, but after reading the story we can see that they played a bigger part than we expected. I felt the most memorable secondary character in this story was Mr. Bell, the man who unwittingly picked up two murderers on the highway, Dick and Perry. The thing that made Mr. Bell so memorable was the fact that he did not know what had happened in Kansas, and he was just having a good time with two ruthless characters on their way to Omaha. He laughed with them, travelled many hours with them, and even was almost killed, but even through all that Mr. Bell kept his merry way and was not aware of Dick and Perry's actions.

    I think Capote uses so many secondary characters is because it shows us that not just the main characters were affected in this tragedy. Those others have been affected by the actions of the main characters. Capote shows us that actions in life have a ripple effect on the lives of others, and that idea is almost instilled in us. The detailed portraits of the secondary characters and their situations, whether they are in jail or in another state, show us exactly what I said earlier; there is a ripple effect in people’s actions. The characters that are in a variety of locations that Capote uses, shows us just how far this story actually went. Just how far it affected people everywhere.

  10. C. Tone

    Truman Capote is a very good writer and his non-bias approach to this book shows that. Capote did not favor Perry and Dick, nor did he despise them. This can be shown by the two sides that Capote showed throughout the novel. One side would be that Perry and Dick murdered the Clutters on accident and that their terrible family backgrounds made them be criminals and eventual murderers. The side Capote shows is the gruesome and savage side of Perry and Dick. He describes the murders with gruesome and explicit details showing Perry and Dick in a very ugly light. These two sides show that Capote was an objective narrarator.

  11. It is supposed to say "other" side in the sentence that starts after murderers.

  12. E. Plot/Structure

    Capote does a great job in keeping his readers interested throughout the novel. He creates great suspense even though the readers know what is going to happen. He does this by including so much detail to what the reader already knows will be the ending. The explanation at the beginning of the novel is very vague and gives room for a lot of imagination. The reader's do not know how the Clutter's were murdered or what kind of people murdered them. All these questions add to the suspense and intrigue the reader.

    Truman Capote constantly switches back and forth between the murderers and the town of Holcomb. This effect causes the book to have two different stories within the main story. It also gives the effect of what was happening in real life. The murders did not know what was happening in Holcomb and it was the opposite for the people in Holcomb. The townspeople were constantly trying to find out who the murderers were and if they were still in the town. If you were a townsperson you obviously had that view, and if you were Perry and Dick you were always on the run trying to find a new life. Using montage provides two different views on the Clutter murders.

    Capote waited to reveal the whole murder scene till when Perry and Dick were finally arrested and captured. The murder scene was finally revealed when Perry and Dick accounted it to the KBI agents. It was not till then that the reader finally found out the whole story. Shortly there after, Capote brings in Perry and Dick's family backgrounds. The agents were just doing small talk while they were interegating the murderers and Perry and Dick's family life was brought up and talked about. It was further looked at during the court case when the criminal's lawyers tried to get them to look insane or mentally unstable.

    A different plot structure Capote culd have used would have been to start in the courtroom during Perry and Dick's case. He could have described the court precedings as he did and then shifted back to before the murders were committed. Another plot structure Capote could have used would have been the obvious one of starting before the murders and carrying the book all the way to the execution of Perry and Dick.

    I think Capote structured the plot the way he did because he was very smart and looked into the future. In today's world many of the tv crime shows are run like this. They start with a bit of the murder and then it all comes together in the end and the whole murder scene is shown. I think people like knowing a little of the story and then trying to figure it out themselves even though they have a slim chance of actually figuring it out. This structure gets the reader's imagination going and makes them try and figure out the ending of the book or show.

  13. I. Style
    E. Plot/Structure

    Truman Capote builds suspense throughout the novel by leaving out essential details of the story while otherwise chronologically telling the series of events (although there are flashbacks in the novel). For example, only later is the reader informed about the gruesome details of the Clutter family murders; at first the reader only knows that the murders happened and is left with a gap of a couple of hours in the story to use his or her imagination. Yet, Capote includes details that readers would not know by just reading the newspaper, such as including information about secondary characters, like Lowell Lee Andrews. He gathers such information through numerous interviews and his strenuous research.

    The author’s use of montage also adds to the suspense of the novel. The reader gets both sides of the story in a unique and captivating way, all the while knowing that the lives of the Clutter family would soon end. The montage draws readers into the story, as they are separately introduced to the innocent and pious Clutter family, along with Dick and Perry. This also helps Capote to remain objective as he narrates the two sides of the story in a matter-of-fact way.

    Capote depicts the murder scene through the confessions of Dick and Perry once they are arrested for the Clutter murders. Capote works Perry’s and Dick’s backgrounds into the narrative through using flashbacks at various points throughout the novel. If a moment sparked a memory from the past, Capote would tell a story from either Perry’s or Dick’s past. For example, when Perry was sorting through his array of keepsakes in Mexico, he reflected upon memories sparked by the items, like his sister’s letter.

    Capote could have told the story without using montage to separate the events that were happening with the Clutters and with Dick and Perry. Also, he could have told each detail of the story in the place that it occurred, rather than saving some events to be told later, like the murder scene. Capote structures the events as he does to create suspense and keep the reader interested. His structure is unique and is a signature of the story, helping him create the “nonfiction novel” he desired to make.

  14. II. Expository Topics
    A. Genre

    The creation of the “nonfiction novel” is important because it brings a new view to the world of journalism. According to Truman Capote in a 1966 interview by George Plimpton from the New York Times, “…few first-class writers have ever bothered with journalism, except as a sideline, ‘hackwork,’ something to be done when the creative spirit is lacking, or as a means of making money quickly.” The common view that journalism is “…only literary photography, and unbecoming to the serious writer’s artistic dignity,” was what Capote wanted to change. He wanted to make journalism exciting and creative, and through his “nonfiction novel,” Capote was able to tackle his task.

    source used:
    Plimpton, George. "The Story Behind a Nonfiction Novel." Truman Capote: His Life and Works [New York, NY]. The New York Times, 16 Jan. 1966. Web. 9 Apr. 2010.

  15. II. Expository Topics
    B. “High School Sweetheart Recalls the Day his Life Changed Forever”

    This article retold Capote’s story from Bobby Rupp’s tragic viewpoint. The sad romanticism that was used really went straight to the heart of the reader. Throughout the article, I wondered if Nancy and Bobby would be together today if the murder did not happen. Bobby still seemed torn up about the murder (although he tried not to show it), even though decades have passed since Nancy has passed away. I feel a little sorry for Mrs. Coleen Rupp, for it seems like she will always be second in Bobby’s heart, after Nancy Clutter. Bobby has not talked much about Nancy’s murder to very many people, so his sad feelings still seem to be bottled inside, although they are not nearly as poignant as in previous years. The article was extremely easy to read, and I zipped through it, like I was reading an entirely different story. It just hurts my heart that Bobby and Nancy were torn apart by such a tragic and unpredictable event, and that Bobby still has a place for Nancy in his heart, whether he admits it to the public or not.

  16. A. Genre

    Truman Capote was the author who was credited with creating the "nonfiction novel". This is signifacant because the "nonfiction novel" really helped out the world of journalism. Writing a nonfiction novel involves a lot of research and possibly interviewing which obviously is what journalist do when writing up a story. The nonfiction novel combines journalism and literature together and creates a lasting true story.

  17. You would pick the high school sweetheart one alex. lol

  18. B. "Composite Character to Hero"

    Alvin Dewey was the lawmen who was portrayed to be the hero in solving the Clutter case. Many people involved in the case would tell you that Dewey really did not do anything special. Many other agents helped crack the case. It was most likely the relationship with Capote that pushed Dewey to hero status. Dewey kinda of sucked up to Capote and befriended him throughout the case so that he could get some extra publicity. Capote went so far as to writing a book about the letters he and Dewey wrote to each other. Most of these letters were requests from Capote asking for information about the case. One of the things he asked for was Nancy Clutter's diary. Dewey suprisingly gave it to him. This is obviously a violation if Nancy's privacy. This article shows that Dewey really was not as great as the book portrayed, and only his relationship with Capote was the reason he got so much fame. It is really unfortunate that all the other agents did not recieve as much attention as Dewey did even though they did just as much or possibly even more work than Dewey did.

  19. III. Argumentative Topics
    A. The Death Penalty

    When first diving into the story and reading the first 70 pages or so, there was no doubt in my mind that Dick and Perry deserved the death penalty. I wondered how these two murderers could get anything less after committing the disgusting and pointless crime of murdering four members of the Clutter family. My mind was made up, and I thought that there was no way of changing it. However, as more was revealed about Dick and Perry (including their past histories, the murder scene, and their reactions to being sentenced to the death penalty), I began to see the other side of the story.

    Dick had not killed any person in his life. Nevertheless, he had a cruel soul. Such an assumption can be proved through Dick’s actions; Dick was a pedophile and loved to aimlessly kill animals. One scene that stayed with me throughout the novel was when Dick purposefully swerved his car toward an “old half-dead mongrel, brittle-boned and mangy” dog that Perry and he had come across in the desert. Dick’s satisfaction over his achievement was noted by him saying, “Boy! We sure splattered him!”

    I felt more remorse towards Perry; although he was the one to kill the four people, the murders began as an accident when Perry’s anger got out of control. Obviously, this cannot be seen as an excuse, but at least Perry did not go into the house thinking that he wanted to brutally murder four people he had never met. At the end of Perry’s life, one could see that Perry had changed for the better; right before his death, he said that he felt sorry for what he did. “It would be meaningless to apologize for what I did. Even inappropriate. But I do. I apologize.” I feel like Perry had repented by this point, and was truly aware of what his actions had done.

    I am not saying that Dick and Perry should not have been punished to the maximum amount; I am appalled by their crime. I do believe that they both should have been imprisoned in a high security penitentiary for life. However, Dick did not commit the four murders that he was on trial for and actually did not go to the Clutter house to purposefully have the family killed (although I cannot stand him because he was a pedophile), and Perry truly repented for what he did.

    Capital punishment is too broad of subject to have a definite answer on whether anyone deserves the death penalty. The crimes that deserve this punishment are obviously appalling, and I am not ruling it out; but I believe that capital punishment should be used as a last resort. When there is a person (like a serial rapist and murderer) who continually is harming others, committing serious crime after crime, that cannot be stopped otherwise, the death penalty should be used. Nonetheless, I believe that people truly have the ability to atone for their sins and regret what they have done. Everyone should have the time to reflect upon their actions, in hopes that they will start to change who they are inside. But with those who cannot be stopped or changed, and those who are extremely dangerous to everyone that they are around, capital punishment may be the last resort. I believe that I still have a lot to learn and that my views are not fully developed yet into an unchangeable force. However, these are the opinions about the death penalty that I have come believe thus far in my life.

  20. III. Argumentative Topics
    B. “Timeliness”

    Forty years after the publication of this novel, Truman Capote still hits home with his effective journalism. Capote establishes a sense of timeliness; his nonfiction novel is relevant as much today as it was back when it was first published. When reading the novel, I was so captivated by the story and taken aback by fright and shock (due to Capote’s use of wonderful structure) that I did not even think about the year that the events took place in. Not many details in the novel dwelled upon the year in which they occurred; rather, the events that took place spoke for themselves. The story seemed so real that I felt like Dick and Perry were about to come to small-town Elba, New York to strike again right after their murders in Holcomb, Kansas. The novel makes the reader see that it is possible for any two criminals to come into such a small town and target a random family at any time, leaving no surviving witnesses. This threat to a family’s safety does not rely on time; hence, Capote’s novel still possesses an element of timeliness.

  21. III. Argumentative Topics
    C. Nature or Nurture

    I believe that nurture is more important than nature. To me, nature is what a person has inherited through being born into the situation that they are in, while nurture is how a person has been raised or influenced by the conditions they grew up under. Both aid to the development of who a person becomes. Nature is significant, but the experiences one has through their nurture affects them far more. For example, Perry and his siblings were all born into a tough life; the nature of their family's life was not well off. However, the four children were all influenced by outside forces, nurturing them in different directions. Barbara Johnson, the only living sibling of Perry’s, was able to put her tough childhood behind her and establish a wonderful life with her loving husband and children. Perry, on the other hand, was not well nurtured and blamed the world for his current troubles; he did not put his past behind him and became angry at the world, especially for not being properly educated. Such goes to show that a person is heavily affected by how he or she is raised.

  22. A. Death Penalty

    I believe that Dick does deserve the death penalty. He was mentally stable and knew exactly what he was doing. He planned the robbery out and made Perry kill the Clutters. He was the master mind behind the whole plan and without his plan, Perry would have never been in the Clutter house and have the chance to kill them. Dick was also a petophile which does not help his case very much.

    Perry on the other hand is a more delicate situation. He killed all four people and usually that would qualify him for the death penalty in my book. The different thing about Perry is that he was mentally unstable and had a hatred for all people. This hatred that he developed from his childhood might have caused him to kill the Clutters and he might not have really been aware of committing the murders. Perry said in the book, “I didn’t realize what I’d done till I heard the sound.” I think I would make Perry take more tests to see if he really was mentally capable of understanding what he had done before sentencing him to the death penalty.

    I believe some people do deserve the death penalty. There are some people who are just not right in the head. They have a tendency to do evil things and are bad for society. I beleive if they are a detriment to society then they should be taken away from society. Of course I think we all know that Mrs. Scanlan would not agree with me.

  23. In Cold Blood is a great novel and it's lasting fame is an example of that. The book has a sense of "timeliness" in it. The style of writing and excellent journalism is still present today. The way he captures his audience and increases suspense is still effective today. You would have never known that the book took place forty years ago. I kept thinking of the tv shows on tv today while I was reading the book. The plot structure is exactly like the structure of the tv shows. This parrallel to today's world shows how much of a genius Capote was.

  24. I beleive that nuture is more important than nature. Nuture is the way someone has been raised whereas nature is the way someone is going to react to a situation. You have a certain nature to do something because of the life you have had and the experiences you have had. This is important but I think nuture is more important. Perry had a terrible life and was not nurtured by either one of his parents. He developed a hatred toward everyone because of this and that is why he lived such a criminal's life. Maybe if his parents had taken care of him better and nutured him like they are supposed to, Perry would have lived a good life and all the Clutters would have been able to do that as well.

  25. Character Development: Part II

    Like Dave said above about Dick and Perry, he does make you feel somewhat sympathetic towards the two criminals. During the interviews we are shown, in depth, more of what Dick and Perry's life has been up to their current position in the book. When we see again what their lives has been like most readers would start to feel sympathetic for. However, I am not one of those people. God gave us all free will. One of the greatest gifts he ever gave us. Dick and Perry misused that gift because they CHOSE to, and so they need to pay the consequences.

  26. C. Tone

    Throughout this novel we see Capote as an objective writer. He does not take either side in the book. He does not sympathize towards their situation and their actions, but at the same time he does not look down on them. Capote introduces us to Dick and Perry as terrible, bloodthirsty criminals. But in the end he shows us the side that Dick and Perry say the whole thing was an accident.

  27. D. Setting

    "In Cold Blood" takes place in the little town of Holdcomb, Kansas. Holcomb is a small run-down town out in the country. In the middle of no where. There's only one restaurant, and everybody knows each other. It's basically like the Waterport of Orleans County. Because it is a small town though, gossip is always spread. There is not a day in Holcomb where rumors are not being told and spread to everyone. The thing that makes Holcomb unique is that the people there are mainly farmers. The whole town is based on farming. Also many of the buildings are abandoned. So it is just like Waterport except that Holcomb has a restaurant. Good job Holcomb. But anyway the town is very run-down and depends on its farmers to keep the town running.

    The town play such a big role in the story because when the murders take place Capote shows us how much the town was impacted by the Clutters' deaths. Capote shows us just how close everyone was to one another in the town.

    The jail can compare to the town in many ways. One being that it is run-down and is hardly ever used. Two being there is only one cook, the sheriff's wife. The contribution that the jail really played in the book was that it showed the remorse Perry felt from the murders. This was the first time Perry actually felt anything about the murders.

  28. E. Plot/Structure

    The way Capote builds suspense in the beginning of the book, even though we know that the Clutters are going to be murdered, is by ending a description of one of Clutters with, "And that was the last day anyone would see them alive again." When Capote says this you think that the next section will be the actual crime. When it's not, it makes you want to read more and find out what actually happens to them. And even when the murders have been committed, they don't tell us right off the bat how they died. This makes the suspense so much more interesting, and makes the reader want to read more.

    The repeated montage between the approaching killers and Holcomb, gives us a sense-of-terror effect. Every time it switches from the town to Dick and Perry, the killers are getting closer and closer to the town. This is telling us that the end is nigh. That true terror is coming and no one even knows what's going to happen.

    The point in which Capote describes the murder is interesting. He does not describe in point of view of the killers or the personal experience of one of the Clutters before they were killed. Instead, Capote describes the murder scene when Al Dewey arrives at the Clutter farm the next day at first. This was just a breakdown of what happened. The true story comes from Dick and Perry when they have been captured and put in jail.

    Dick and Perry's family backgrounds were brought in at two points in the novel. One was when they were on the run and we see briefly what their family life was like. Two was when Capote was interviewing them in jail and they pour out everything about their families to him.

    I think there are two plot structures that could have been used by Capote. The first one being that he described the whole story in the view of the murderers, the day before their executions. Showing what happened in their point of view through the murders, the run, and the catch. The second being that Capote could have started it off at the trial, and using the evidence and facts the lawyers collected against Perry and Dick, and create a plot off that.

    But the way Capote describes the plot makes the novel better. He takes an un-biased, third party point of view. Capotes shows us everyone involved with the Clutters, and Dick and Perry, and shows us how the whole murder, investigation, trial, and execution take place. He takes us through an actual criminal investigation and trial, and that's what makes "In Cold Blood" such a great novel.

  29. II. Expository Topics: Question A

    The creation of the "nonfiction novel" is very significant because it showed authors that they could take a journalistic approach to writing. All they need to do is collect the right information, and the right amount of information to make a great piece of literature. Capote's creation of the "nonfiction novel" has shown authors that not all works have to be primarily fiction or nonfiction, but both.

  30. II. Expository Topics: Question B.

    After reading the article "Relations between media and law enforcement have changed since 1959" there are some things that amaze me about how the whole media-officer relationship has changed. Tony Jewell was the on-scene reporter when the Clutters were savagely killed. Jewell was able to walk in the house, examine the scene, and take all the notes he wanted. The police officers even gave him some clues about the ongoing case. But today this is not possible. Back in Jewell's time he could be given clues, and then out of respect for the case, would not divulge that information on his radio show. Today most reporters would give that information to the public in a heartbeat. The reason is because today's reporters don't take into consideration what the information could do to the case. It could ruin the case in so many ways because Jewell says reporters today don't have the moral sense like they did back then, and I agree with him. I think that reporters today aren't aware of the consequence that could arise if some information was to be released to the public about an important case. Everything the police officers worked for could be flushed right down the toilet. So because of the change in reporter's attitudes, officers and reporters have become almost enemies now. This just stuns me the changes that has arisen in fifty years.

  31. III. Argumentative Topics: Question A.

    After reading "In Cold Blood" I came to the conclusion that Dick deserves the death penalty, but Perry, however, could have gone either way. Dick deserves the death penalty because after the murders he just went on with his life like nothing happened. Dick felt no remorse for what he did, and he deserves to pay for actions. Perry on the other is a more difficult subject. Even though Perry went along with the murders, he could have said no from the beginning. But when Perry is put in jail he begins to feel sorry for what he has done and what he has made of his life. As a matter of fact, we can kinda see that Perry feels a little sorry when he starts asking Dick about their actions, and he is changed a little internally. But nevertheless, like I said if you are a jury or a judge, you're going to look at the fact that Perry could have said no. There's always a second choice; Perry just didn't make it.

  32. HAHAHA Dave, nice Mrs. Scanlan reference in there. If she read mine, she'd probably shun to the bad place. haha

  33. III. Argumentative Topics: Question B.

    After forty years of publication, "In Cold Blood" is still a great novel that captures the story of the murder of a family, by using journalistic techniques. The "timeliness" that Capote has instilled in this nonfiction novel is still present to this day; I think so. The story of the investigation of a murdered family is still relatable to this day. After reading "In Cold Blood" I was immediately reminded of the CSI T.V. shows, but at the same time journalism. Capote shows us in this novel that all a journalist needs is to find the right idea and subject to write about, and captivates its readers. Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood" is a studying tool for all journalists that want to make a name with itself. Like Capote, all you need is "timeliness," and the drive to do something great.

  34. III. Argumentative Topics: Question C.

    I believe nurture is more important than nature. Those who nurture could have a greater impact on your future than nature could because you can relate to them more, you know more of them just as they do of you, and they are most likely very influential. Take Perry for example: he did not have a great childhood. His father did not take too good care of him, and he would not allow him to finish school. Because of that Perry turned out the way he did. Because Perry was not nurtured as a child, and had to learn how to do things on his own, he was mentally unstable, and could not function in society. However, this could be different for all people. But I still believe nurture will have a greater impact on someone's life than nature would.

  35. I.
    A. I personally think that Capote did a great job with the last paragraph of the chapter on page 36, which is the end of the conversation between Mr. Clutter and Mrs. Ashida. The closing sentence is spoken by Mrs. Ashida to Mr. Clutter, saying “I can’t imagine you afraid. No matter what happened, you’d talk your way out of it.” By ending the chapter with this, Capote does an excellent job with foreshadowing. The reader is now curious as to what is going to happen when Mr. Clutter gets murdered. When Mrs. Ashida says that Mr. Clutter can “convince anybody about whatever,” my first thoughts were wondering why he didn’t convince the murderers to let him live, or at least to let his family live.

  36. B. Capote’s use of secondary characters makes the story much more imaginable to the reader, as well as proving the nonfiction nature of the book. The secondary characters definitely add more flavors to the story, and make the reader more interested in the plot. In my opinion, without the secondary characters, the story would be rather dry and not as powerful.
    To me, the most memorable secondary character was Bobby Rupp. Nancy Clutter was around my age, and I think that during this time of every girl’s life, they have a boy that they just think the world of. Bobby is the quintessential high school sweetheart that every girl has or wishes they had.
    Capote remains seemingly unprejudiced in his writing, however, I was never able to feel sorry for the killers. For example, about halfway through the book, Capote shows a long letter written by Perry’s dad attempting to make the judge feel sorry towards Perry about the previous crime that he had committed. While Perry, as well as Dick, may have not been academically brilliant, they still knew the difference between right and wrong. There is no excuse for intentionally murdering a family.

  37. C. I believe that Capote was an objective narrator. As it has previously been mentioned, Capote showed both sides of the story: one feeling that Perry and Dick should receive sympathy, and the other showing them to be the murders of an innocent family. Also, the fact that Capote has written the novel in third person, instead of through the eyes of one of the characters, makes the novel seem less biased and more informative. Some parts of the story are more subjective than others, however. Capote makes the Clutters seem like the perfect family that everyone loved, and does not pay attention to any of their faults or flaws.

  38. D. Holcomb is the perfect example of a small town from the past. To me, Holcomb seems to have come straight out of an old Western movie. I think that Capote wants this effect; he seems to make Holcomb seem totally normal, like a place that a murder like this could never happen. Because the town is so ordinary, it is so unordinary. It is hard to image that nowadays a place like this could still exist.
    The description of the jail at the beginning of Part IV shows that Perry and Dick are part of the “ladies cell.” Perry keeps a diary, and eventually beings to feel sorry for his actions. Dick, on the other hand, never feels these emotions. Because of the location of the jail, I believe that the pair comes into contact with some great people, including Josephine Meier. These people help Perry realize his poor actions, but as I said before, seem unable to help Dick.

  39. E. Capote builds suspense within the novel by adding so many extra characters, events, and other details that most other writers would never think to include. I was curious throughout the book while the crime was being solved as to why this innocent family was murdered. The story stretches out for awhile so that the reader is in suspense, but not long enough for the reader to get bored.
    The montage used by Capote creates a great deal of dramatic irony in the story. The readers, although well aware of the outcome, seem to be holding their breath until the final few pages of the story.
    Capote does not depict the murder scene until after it is over, when Dick and Perry are explaining it to the KBI agents. While the reader had a good idea of what happened, they do not learn everything until this point. Again, Perry and Dick’s backgrounds are given in bits and pieces throughout the story, but it is not until they are being investigated until we learn more in detail. Capote could have given away the entire plot at once, in a clearer, chronological order. I believe that Capote wrote the book in the style he did in order to keep the reader intrigued and make the book come off as much more appealing.

  40. II.
    A. Author Erica Davis says that the most important part of the term “nonfiction novel” is the word ‘novel.’ Up until the release of “In Cold Blood,” the use of drama in novels was very rare. As it has been previously stated, Capote was the first person to do this, bringing about a change in literature that had never occurred before. Capote merged two terms that were seemingly antonyms at his time.
    Source: http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/learn_from_classics/77595 (sorry if we had to use MLA citation style, I did not think that we would since this is a blog not an MLA style paper)

  41. B. “High School Sweetheart Recalls the Day His Life Changed Forever”

    As I mentioned earlier, Bobby was my favorite secondary character, so as soon as I saw this article I wanted to respond to it!

    I was very touched, especially at the short sentence saying that when Nancy died “it was the only time anyone would ever see Bobby cry.” Bobby talks about how everyone in Holcomb was still a teenager, but everything felt so much more serious after the murders. People seemed to change and grow up. It was interesting to see how the murders were actually a blessing in some ways: students achieved better grades and pointless jokes seemed to stop. It was amazing to see that even though Bobby claims he has healed, he still cares about Nancy and has been permanently affected by these tragic events.

  42. III.
    A. I do not know if Dick or Perry deserved the death penalty. On page 387, an article published in the Kansas City Star is discussed, saying that Dick and Perry were killed by the death penalty after committing “one of the bloodiest murders in Kansas.” The title sounds gruesome, and makes Dick and Perry seem like barbaric animals capable of doing this, instead of human beings. Although one may argue that Perry was remorseful (even though Dick was not), by the time he realized that he was sorry, it was way too late. One must also remember that murdering the Clutter family was not the first crime committed by either person. While I am not really sure of my position on the death penalty, I do know that killing people is a very serious crime, and that one should still receive a punishment whether they are or are not sorry for their actions.

  43. B. Timeliness is defined as “being at the right time.” From this definition, I would agree that “In Cold Blood” still possesses an element of timeliness. Even though the events occurred around 50 years ago, Capote wrote his book in such a manner that one would believe that it occurred recently. In both “In Cold Blood,” as well as any other great works of literature, it is important to just intrigue the audience at the time the work is written, and this interest, if great enough, will carry on into time.

  44. C. I believe that nurture is more important than nature. As our friend Stephanie Lapple always says, “children are perfect until their parents screw them up.” I could not agree more. Perry had a bad home life from the very beginning. Perhaps if he was raised more compassionately, he would not have committed any crimes in the first place, and would have been a kind, honest man. I may be wrong, but I think that our entire AP English class has very good home lives. Also, from what I know, we all seem to be pretty good kids. Perhaps if we had the home lives of Perry or Dick, we would have turned out to be like them. Contrary to this in the book, Nancy and Kenyon Clutter had very good home lives, and ended up being very good and likeable kids. I feel that ultimately, nature comes from nurture.

  45. I. Style-
    Page 91, Paragraph 3(Perry had gone…)
    I picked this paragraph because it truly shows the randomness that Capote utilized. One minute he is talking about how Perry and Dick might get in a fight, and then he talks about how the two of them are friends and cannot separate. Capote uses imagery to the full advantage when he is describing the two guys. It really helps develop the readers view on the characters.

  46. B.)
    Capote has many different secondary characters throughout the book, and I suppose that he did this because he wanted to add depth and detail to his book, but I fear that it backfired. There are so many names to deal with, and it seems that capote simply responded by dumping more on. The fact that Capote tries to tell the life story of every single character harms the overall plotline. My favorite secondary character is Bess Hartman, the owner of Hartman's Café. I like her because she is a no-nonsense woman.
    Capote uses many literary elements to characterize the killers the largest being imagery. Capote is very in depth as to every possible aspect of their lives. I do not sympathize with the characters, even though Capote tries to make them appear as victims.

  47. C.)
    Subjective. Capote is definitely a subjective narrator. Throughout the book, he gives reasons as to why we (the readers) should bear no ill feelings toward the criminals, whereas if he wrote from an objective viewpoint, he would leave out his opinions and assumptions, which basically make up the whole book. However, the only reason that people showed an interest in Capotes book is because of the way that he styled it; if you took out Capotes opinionated air then all that would be left is a pile of useless facts and pretty words.

  48. D.)
    Holcomb is a simple little town in which not a lot of things go on. All of the people in Holcomb know basically everything about everyone due to the large quantities of gossip that act as the town entertainment. However, there are many empty buildings in Holcomb, and many people do not live there; people come there to buy things. The author spends so much time describing the town in order for the readers to understand the wave of emotions that will go through the townsfolk.
    The description of the jail in part IV shows that the jail is not looked on as a jail as much as a hotel. The jail is rarely in use, and it is very folksy, as the mentioning that the sheriff’s wife bakes the best food, cleans and sews, and takes care of the five story apartment. In the jail, the softer side of Perry is seen.
    Even though we know the outcome of the story, Capote still builds suspense via the obvious nature of drawing out the plot. By Capotes method of jumping around from character to character, he has the readers waiting and waiting for what they know will happen, and just the sheer anticipation catches the reader in its grasps.
    The authors use of montage between the killers and Holcomb keeps the book afloat, because without it, the book would be incredibly boring; it would not have a great deal of suspense and it would be very cliché.
    Capote finally depicts the murder scene when Dick and Perry recount the story to the KBI agents. He fits Dick and Perry’s background into the story by telling how it all started, and why the men came to Holcomb and committed murder. Capote shows that the men are actually human beings, and that we are to have sympathy for them. Capote set up the structure the way that he did because he wanted to allow the suspense to build up and remain for the entirety of the novel. I believe that he did a splendid job.

  49. II. Expository Topics-
    Well, I believe that the so called “nonfiction-novel” would be entertaining to the literary world as it is supposed to consist of hardcore facts painted in literary jazz and opinionated by a third-party. A Nonfiction novel is different from most nonfiction as it is not a documentary, but rather an actual story meant to thrill the audience.
    “The book that changed a town”
    After reading this, I was rather interested by the other side on Capotes book, which is how it hurt the people of Holcomb, as it opened up old wounds and made the town a rather public attraction. I just didn’t realize the time gap between the actual murder and when the book came out, and now I can see how it would have offended people.

  50. III. Argumentative Topics
    Oh man, we have to harp on the death penalty? I’m not touching that with a 20 foot pole.

    Just kidding. Do Perry and Dick deserve to die, or just Dick? Well, I guess so. The fact of the matter is that the two men committed murder; brutal murder. Therefore I do not shed a tear on their sorry graves. You can paint them as victims; you can try to make me feel bad for them and press my sympathy, but I just won’t buy it. If you slit someone’s throat and blew three people away with a shotgun, I sincerely hope that I can witness you burn in hell.

  51. B.)
    Frankly, I have no idea whatsoever what capote meant by timeliness, but I fear that the timeliness has left the building.
    Get ready for this answer- I do not particularly think either is that great. I have met people who are the exception of both rules, and from my experiences, I still say that you are the only person on earth who can decide what you are going to do. There are no excuses in life, and while I am opening myself up for enemies saying that, I still hold firm to it. You may say that if Perry had a better up-bringing he would have turned out right. Unfortunately, what’s done is done; he did not make the best with what he had. His own actions spelled his doom, and there is no way one could have stopped that.

  52. A. Syntax:
    The paragraph i chose is the first on page 73. In it Capote calls the line of ambulances as a cortege, expressing the scene as cerimonial to sue kidwall who is watcing them drive away.
    The next part is with Bobby Rupp. when he is initially told about nancy he acts distant, thanking m. ewalt for coming to tell him. He snaps at his younger, yet bigger brother who desperatley wants to help. When Bobby begins to cry it is huge. He was described throughout the book as a jock, a tough athlete. The fact that he cries is a contridiction to his character and really expresses the monumental impact of what occured. Even his brother can never remember him crying, and doesn't want to, becuase he understands if Bobby is crying then all is not right with the world; so he gives him privacy.

  53. B. Character Development
    I think Capote depicts the secondary characters so precisely is that they add to the bigger picture. The person's background or personality may contribute to understanding why they did or said what they did to influence the stories turn of events.
    One secondary character i found most memorable was Mrs. Meier. Something about her seemed geniuinely kind. She sympothized with everyone. In her quotes she talked about how the Clutter murders were a terrible tradgedy, and how she was disgusted by the act. She was one of the few people who was able to look past the sin and see the true person undeneath. She never excused their behavior, but she judged them based on her personal expirenece with them, not on the stories she had heard.

    Capote doesn't really characterize the killers in any specific way. He does at times make you feel sympathetic towards the killers. Their lives were not eacy by any means. I can compleatly understand why Perry had such enormous psycological problems. All of his siblings, including Barbara, 'the good one' suffered because of their parents actions.
    Perry always seemed like the more moral person of the two. I was genuinely surprised to find out that it was he who had physically commited all the murders. Dick always seemed to be the worse of the two, almost as if he was corrupting Perry.
    In truth they both had good parts that had to be compinsated for what the bad had done. Dick was a loyal and loving son, he constantly worried about his mother and father and the strain he was putting on them. Perry, it seems, had he been raised in a way that didn't psycologically scar him, would have been a loving nurturing person. The way he tried to provide comforts for the Clutter's before he killed them in cold blood makes you stop and think about who he, and Dick too, who they could have been had they led different lives.

  54. C. Tone
    Capote is often seen as an objective narrator. I think that maybe he wasn't objective so much as he saw, understood and sympothized with both sides of the table. In each point of veiw that he is interveiwing from he kind of takes their point of veiw. So when reading what the clutter's neighbor's had to say i was quick to condem the two men. But when reading their words, or even the words of their close friend and family such as Dick's parents, I feel sorry about the whole situation and want to give them a new chance to get things right.

  55. D. Setting
    Holcomb is described as quiet and subtley Christian. Everything about the town is peaceful and quiet. It's the last place on earth where anything terrible is expected to happen, which i believe is precisely the point. Had this same story taken place in New York City for example it would not have caught nearly as much media attention because, although just as awful, it is not entirely unexpected where so many people are crammed into such a small surface area.

    The jail is very un-holcomelike. It is described as dreary and dismal, while just outside the jail in the rest of the courthouse is compleatly normal and cheerful. The jail contrasts compleatly with the rest of the town perhaps because the people that go there also don't fit into the life that Holcomb has created of peaceful coexistance with everyone.

  56. E. Plot / Structure
    The way Capote structured his timeline added to the suspense of the storyline. He bounced back and forth which kept people from forming firm opinions about what they believed the outcome should or shouldn't be. Although we knew the full outcome much of the suspense came from not knowing if the outcome was what we wanted to happen.

    If Capote had told the story of Perry and Dick's lives before the murder it would have been much easier to judge them saying that they had plenty of time to work though their problems, therefore already holding a firm opinion. When we are able to look back on things to see how they affected people it is easier to accept how moments strongly affected people, and made their behavior certainly not acceptable but at least able to be understood as to why it is there.

  57. A. Genres
    Novel are generally associated with being pieces of fiction. In this case Truman Capote was able to take a true peice of History and make an interesting story line out of it. It's different from other genres like historical fiction because those take real event and then create the emotions and feelings that those involved felt. With Capote's novel he interveiwed them personally and used real quotes to express the people's true thoughts with historical accuracy, all while telling it like a story instead of a textbook passage.

  58. A. Syntax
    Page 106, first paragraph

    It's simply a description of Dick and Perry's car. Usually descriptions of such an extent bore me rapidly, but Capote kept it in a manner that made it feel suspenseful. Perhaps it's the knowing of the outcome, but Capote's ability to make them feel completely ignorant of their fate.

  59. I read: High school sweetheart recalls the day his life changed forever.
    This article was simply an interveiw with Bobby Rupp. He was 61 and it was the first time he relented and would tell how he felt about the Clutter murders since Truman Capote interveiwed him over 40 years before. The article was bitter sweet. Bobby had managed to move on, get married and have children, but part of his heart would always belong to nancy clutter. His wife, colleen was amazing in how she understanding she was. Every year he would bring nancy flowers and if he was busy then colleen would go.
    Bobby talked about how the murders changed Holcomb all around. The kids worked harder, and behaved better. jokes and teasing just didn't take on the same meaning.

  60. A. death penalty
    I personally do not believe in the death penalty, unless it is compleatly nessesary. That is there are not adequate facilities to hold someone who is a clear danger to everyone he meets. there is some work that can be done by the inmates. Perhaps working as farmhands or as maintance after hours. Why kill someone when they can contribute to society. In Perry and Dick's case they were able to be held in prison, and were competent enough to be able to contribute in society while being under controlled supervsion.

  61. B. Character Development

    I agree with David in that Capote adds many many secondary characters to bring in multiple views on the murder.
    In order for him to create suspense, he needs multiple stand points so that the reader can stay interested. It's creating mystery and gossip.

    My favorite character was Mr. Bell.
    I was laughing because of such bliss he was getting from murderers.

    I guess I did feel a little bad when they died. Yeah they shouldn't have done it, but someone dying is always sad, at least a little.
    Capote did pull off making them feel a little innocent, well rather victims though. I would have done this on my own without him though.

  62. B.timeliness
    this book will always posess an element of timeliness as long as there is random violence in the world. This book is an in depth look at one particular story, but if we change the names and the setting around it could just as easily be other victims of a tragic crime that was all for naught.

    C. nature or nurture?
    For the most part i believe that nurture is more influencial in a person's life. Take Perry for instance. He and his siblings had the opportunity to become amazing people, but they started out on the wrong foot and never got their footing back. Dick as well, for the most part he was raised very well, but conditions that happend to him, such as the never getting to go to college, and his accident took their toll on who he became as well. The only main instance in this book where i believe nature won out over nurture was with Andrews, the criminal on death row before dick and perry arrived. Although in this case, had he been nurtured differently to help take care of his natural psycological disorder he might have turned out to become a productive member of society. He had the intellegence and the ability. All he needed was a little different type of nurturing.

  63. C. Tone

    Definitely objective.

    If he wasn't objective he would have completely missed his goal of creating a new genre of books. There would be no suspense, mystery, or interest for the book. It would become a biased Documentary.

    It wasn't truly Capote that made them seem terrible and innocent. It was the characters he included that did that. Like Perry's father's attempt to make the judge feel sorry for him. Inclusions such as those created emotions for the reader. Capote simply decided to put them in the book.

  64. Holcomb is very rural and gave me the impression of a Wild West Ghost Town, very old buildings looking ready to fall apart. It feels very separated from the rest of the world.

    As has been said, it seems like an unlikely place for a murder; which only plays into the whole "who dun it" thing Capote has going on.

    The Jail always kinda sits in your mind, knowing it will eventually come back up later in the novel. And when it does it really plays into the construction of Perry and Dick, revealing some of their inner feelings.

  65. ^^^^

    That is part D. Setting

  66. E. Plot/Structure

    The use of many side characters and keeping the murder scene unrevealed until later create suspense and mystery needed to make this book a historical novel.

    The effective use of Montage creates a rushed feeling. It creates suspense, hinting in that something will soon happen, but leaving you with little time to guess what will happen because of the rushed feeling.

    Capote reveals the murder scenes through Perry and Dick's eyes. He with-holds telling us the murder scene in the beginning so that there was some sense of mystery, forcing us to create guesses on how it happened.
    Also, this prevents Capote from becoming biased in his description of the murder.

    The method he chose best creates mystery, suspense, and a sense of fictionality.
    Yes I made that word up.

  67. II. Expository Topics
    A. Genre

    Creating a new genre is unheard of. The significance? It proves that literature is only limited to the individual's creativity.

    Capote has opened a new door in writing, reminding everyone that you do not have to follow what's been done before.

    Be wild.

  68. II. Expository Topics
    B. Reaction "Author left mark on state"

    Having written "In Cold Blood" Holcomb has become rather famous, or infamous perhaps. Often people will visit to try to live the book.

    However some citizens would like to forget the murders, and dislike the visitations.

    It goes on to explain that it would seem Capote simply wrote the book for attention, and to walk through the gates to fame and high society life.
    It makes Capote come of as rather greedy.

    I hope he isn't like that.

  69. III. Argumentative Topics
    A. Death Penalty

    Personally, no. I don't think anyone really deserves the death penalty. I like how it makes those on death row really ponder their actions. It typically makes them regretful, a little more humane in a sense.
    But it really can't outweigh killing a person in my opinion. There are better options.

    Yeah, they murdered people. Brutally too. But by killing them you only hurt more people. And it won't truly satisfy the victims (the family of the deceased).

  70. III. Argumentative Topics

    Yup. I agree too. A book or journal needs to feel timeless.

    Even though this happened over 40 years ago you can't help but feel like your there in the book. The time difference doesn't affect your ability to relate and get into the book. This book is timeless and any good book feels timeless.

  71. III. Argumentative Topics
    C. Nurture Vs. Nature

    They both play a role in building a character, however I feel Nurture can supersede Nature.
    Both boys had a suckish life as they grew up; there's the Nurture. And while in the jail, you get to see some of Perry's Nature, his good side.

    Personally speaking, I've met a kid with anger issues; his Nature. I've accidentally poked him and as a result was nearly strangled (lol). His anger is relatively well controlled though; even then it was. Without Nurture this kid probably would have been a psychopathic serial (or cereal) killer. This incident happened when I was like 8.
    Recently him and his mother lived with our family (they sold there home before they could move into a new one). He was great. He's relatively funny and isn't anywhere near as violent (lol). He's actually incredibly smart too.

    In my mind, Nature provides the Potential; Nurture exploits the Potential for what it's worth.

    Nurture - 1
    Nature - 0


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